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MS 1024 - McKarns Family Papers


The McKarns Family Papers consists of three linear feet of correspondence, genealogical research files, newspaper clippings, literary productions and photographs relating to the McKarns and allied families. The donation and transfer of these records to the Center for Archival Collections was arranged through the cooperation of Thomas Edson Doughten of Toledo, Ohio, in April 2005. No restrictions exist on the use of this collection and duplication is permitted for the purposes of preservation and research. The register was completed by Stephen W. Badenhop, Archival Assistant, in June 2008.

Biographical Sketch

The materials contained in this collection were assembled by Florence Bernice Werder McKarns (1911-2005) from the 1960s to the 1990s. Florence, known as Bernice, was born August 5, 1911, in Stringtown, Williams County, Ohio. She was the daughter of John and Florence Hamet Werder. After her mother's death when she two years old, she was raised by her uncle and aunt Cort and Jennie Hamet Miller.

Bernice spent most of her life in Williams County. She moved to Bryan where she attended Bryan High School; graduating in 1929. In 1933, she graduated from the Ohio State University and served as a fourth grade teacher at Park Elementary School in Bryan. Bernice was a member of West Unity United Methodist Church, Jefferson Rural Garden Club, Williams County Genealogical Society and Top of Ohio Organ Club. She conducted genealogical research on her husband's family, as well as her own family. Since both families resided in the Bryan area, there is much information on the community, Williams County and area families. Many families are represented by correspondence including Brannan, Copeland, Finch, Hamet, Luthey, Miller, McQuilkin, Smith and Werder families among others. She kept detailed notes of all correspondence along with documents concerning various families.

Bernice married James Russell "Stubby" McKarns, known as Russell, on June 27, 1936. Russell was born on March 12, 1912, to Charles and Clela Belle Smith McKarns. He graduated from Bryan High School in 1931. Russell and Bernice had two sons, James and John. John in turn had two sons of his own, Geoffrey and Gregory. Bernice and Russell celebrated their life together for over sixty-three years until Russell died on June 7, 2000, followed by Bernice on October 25, 2005.

Scope and Content

The McKarns Family Papers consists of research material compiled by Florence Bernice Werder McKarns relationed to her and her spouse's family history. The collection comprises three linear feet of materials. Families represented include: Baldwin, Brannan, Copeland, Drum, Dustin, Fankhouser, Fife, Finch, Gaskill, Habeggar, Hamet, Hutchinson, Laughlin, Lindesmith, Lohrey, Luthy, Mattoon, McCarron, McGuire, McKarns, McQuilken, Miller, Owen, Richard, Smith, Steinman, Warren, Weithrich and Werder families. Included in the collection are correspondence, family subject files, general subject files, legal documents, family histories, research notes, newsclippings, maps, pedigree charts, printed materials and photographs.

The collection contains a nice series of research related correspondence between Florence and other researchers and family members conducting genealogical research. Also, included in the correspondence are a couple interesting letters to Florence from her grandfather John F. Hamet discussing his early childhood memories of the Civil War. Another interesting letter is a copy of a letter from a soldier, while serving in the Mexican War. Finally another useful series of correspondence is letters between the Johann Ulrich Steinman in Germany and his daughter Christina Steinman Werder living in America relating news and observations.

The family subject files, general subject files, copies of related legal documents, family histories, research notes, newsclippings, pedigree charts and photographs make up a majority of the collection. These various items contain detailed information about the families stated above. Specifically interesting is the McKarns Family and Werder Family History publications written by James S. and Florence Bernice McKarns respectively. Also of interest is the large assortment of obituaries and photographs of various family members from the mid 1800s to the late 1990s.

Series Description


Arranged chronologically
Personal correspondence between Florence Bernice McKarns and various family members and researchers relating to family history and genealogy

Arranged chronologically
Correspondence between members of the McKarns and allied families relating personal news and business


Arranged alphabetically
Family subject files containing genealogical information about the Baldwin, Brannan, Copeland, Drum, Dustin, Fankhouser, Fife, Finch, Gaskill, Habeggar, Hamet, Hutchinson, Laughlin, Lindesmith, Lohrey, Luthy, Mattoon, McCarron, McGuire, McKarns, McQuilken, Miller, Owen, Richard, Smith, Steinman, Warren, Weithrich and Werder families

Arranged alphabetically
Subject files contain local histories and genealogical information such as cemetery information, veteran records, marriage records and death records


Arranged alphabetically
Manuscripts produced by James and Florence McKarns including a McKarns family history and a Werder family history

Compilation of research notes written and kept by Florence McKarns, while conducting family research on various families


Arranged by groups chronologically
Copies of deeds, estates, marriage records and wills of various related family members


Arranged alphabetically
Newspaper clippings from McKarns and allied families including birth, marriage and divorce announcements along with obituaries and general family related news articles


Arranged alphabetically
Maps of locations connected to McKarns and allied families including maps of Ireland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Switzerland

Arranged alphabetically
Pedigree charts drawn by Florence McKarns of various individuals and related families


Arranged alphabetically
Miscellaneous printed materials including birth announcement cards, memorial cards and obituaries, Charles and Clela McKarns golden anniversary book, Russell and Florence McKarns family Bible and related family tree books


Arranged alphabetically
Photographs from the Brannan, Copeland, Finch, Hamet, McKarns, Miller, Smith and Werder families along with school pictures and miscellaneous identified and unidentified pictures


Box 1: Correspondence

  1. Florence McKarns & John F. Hamet, 1925-1931
  2. Florence McKarns & George K. Finch, 1967-1970
  3. Florence McKarns & Charles E. Finch, 1969
  4. Florence McKarns & Charles E. McQuilkin, 1969
  5. Florence McKarns & Mrs. Ford McQuilkin, 1969
  6. Florence McKarns & James A. McQuilkin , 1969
  7. Florence McKarns & Donald McKarns, 1971-1975
  8. Florence McKarns & Mary Bowers Teeter, 1971
  9. Florence McKarns & Mary M. Hite, 1978
  10. Florence McKarns & Evelyn LaJoice, 1978-1984
  11. Florence McKarns & Elleen B. Wicker, 1979-1994
  12. Florence McKarns & Eleanor Smith, 1984
  13. Florence McKarns & Merritt Smith, 1984
  14. Florence McKarns & Ed Morgan, 1985
  15. Florence McKarns & Lvene Thomas, 1986-1996
  16. Florence McKarns & Clifford T. Wigg, 1988
  17. Florence McKarns & Margaret Reiman, 1992-1998
  18. Florence McKarns & Kim Hammer, 1993-1996
  19. Florence McKarns & Barbara Houck, 1996-1997
  20. Florence McKarns & Emily Orewiler, 1996
  21. Florence McKarns & Stephanie Abbott, 1997-1999
  22. Florence McKarns & Kathy Erlsten, 1997
  23. Florence McKarns & Dessamae Curry, 1998-1999
  24. Florence McKarns & Amy W. Noble, 2001
  25. Florence McKarns & Lyndall Miller Rogers, n.d.
  26. Florence McKarns & Miscellaneous, 1947-1989
  27. Florence McKarns & Miscellaneous, 1990-1999
  28. Mexican War Correspondence (Brannan Family), 15 Nov 1846
  29. Johann Ulrich Steinman & Christina Steinman Werder, 1852-1891
  30. Jonathan McKarns & Sarah Crawford McKarns, 9 Aug 1858
  31. Thomas McKarns & E.W.J. Lindesmith, 5 Mar 1913
  32. John Warren & Garfield O. Warren, 25 Dec 1915
  33. James McKarns & Miscellaneous, 1995-2000
  34. Miscellaneous, 1949-1991

Box 2: Subject Files

  1. Baldwin Family
  2. Brannan Family
  3. Brannan Family
  4. Copeland Family
  5. Drum Family
  6. Dustin Family
  7. Fankhouser Family
  8. Fife Family
  9. Finch Family
  10. Gaskill Family
  11. Habegger Family
  12. Hamet Family
  13. Hutchinson Family
  14. Laughlin Family
  15. Lindesmith Family
  16. Lohrey Family
  17. Luthy Family
  18. Mattoon Famil y
  19. McCarron Family
  20. McGuire Family
  21. McKarns Family

Box 3: Subject Files

  1. McKarns Family
  2. McQuilkin Family
  3. Miller Family
  4. Owen Family
  5. Richard Family
  6. Smith Family
  7. Steinman Family
  8. Warren Family
  9. Weithrick Family
  10. Werder Family

Box 4: Subject Files, Literary Productions

  1. Cemetery Information
  2. Civil War Veteran Discharge Index
  3. Death Records
  4. Esther Smith Widow Pension Record
  5. First West Unity Methodist Church History
  6. German Township, Fulton County, Ohio, History
  7. Henry & Christina Werder Passport Papers
  8. Ireland History
  9. Isaac Smith Pension Record
  10. Madison Township, Franklin County, Ohio, History
  11. Mayflower Descendants
  12. Seneca County, Ohio, History
  13. Shenandoah County Marriages
  14. Smith Marriages
  15. St. Paris, Ohio, History
  16. Three Score & Ten Club
  17. West Bethseda Presbyterian Church History & Records
  18. Yates County, New York, History
  19. Florence McKarns, My Story
  20. Florence McKarns, The Werder Family
  21. James S. McKarns, The Bicentennial Anniversary of McKarns in America
  22. James S. McKarns, The Family of James Patterson McKarns

Box 5: Literary Productions

  1. Research Notes
  2. Research Notes
  3. Research Notes
  4. Research Notes
  5. Research Notes

Box 6: Legal Documents, Scrapbooks & Scrapbook Materials

  1. Richard Earle Deed, 1816
  2. Joshua Copeland Estate, 1845
  3. Abraham Smith Estate, 1883
  4. John Miller Estate, 1909
  5. Isaac Smith & Esther Finch Marriage Record, 1 Nov 1859
  6. James P. Preston & Ella Miller Marriage Record, 20 Mar 1871
  7. Charles McKarns & Clela Smith Marriage Record, 18 Jun 1908
  8. Adam Smith Will, 1807
  9. Solomon Warren Will, 1820
  10. William Smith Will, 1848
  11. Jonathan McKarns Will, 1877
  12. Florence McKarns Scrapbook
  13. Brannan Family Clippings
  14. Copeland Family Clippings
  15. Harrington Family Clippings
  16. Gertrude & Paul Kirby Clippings
  17. Marriage, Birth & Divorce Clippings
  18. McKarns Family Clippings
  19. Clela A. McKarns Clippings
  20. Paul & Miriam McKarns Clippings
  21. William & Betty McKarns Clippings
  22. Miscellaneous Clippings
  23. Obituary Clippings
  24. Rigg Family Clippings
  25. Smith Family Clippings

Box 7: Maps and Charts

  1. Ireland Maps
  2. Henry Werder Farm Map
  3. Ohio Maps
  4. Pennsylvania Maps
  5. Switzerland Maps
  6. James W. Adams Pedigree
  7. Lucille C. Chapman Pedigree
  8. Marian E. Gamble Pedigree
  9. Paul W. Kirby Pedigree
  10. Florence Lyndall Miller Pedigree
  11. Florence McKarns Pedigree
  12. Geoffrey McKarns Pedigree
  13. James R. McKarns Pedigree
  14. James S. McKarns Pedigree
  15. Jay E. McKarns Pedigree
  16. John R. McKarns Pedigree
  17. Harry S. McQuilkin Pedigree
  18. Margaret McQuilkin Pedigree
  19. Dee Smith Pedigree
  20. Frances E. Roberts Pedigree
  21. John S. Werder Pedigree
  22. Albert W. Wood Pedigree

Box 8: Printed Materials

  1. Birth Announcement Cards
  2. Charles & Clela McKarns Golden Wedding Anniversary Register
  3. Family Tree of Daniel and Lucinda (Baker) Miller
  4. Florence & Russell McKarns Bible
  5. Francis and Margaret (Martin) Brannan Family Tree
  6. Greenwood School, Williams County, Ohio, Pupil Booklet, 1914
  7. J. Russell McKarns Certificate of Merit
  8. McKarns Family Archives
  9. Memorial Cards & Obituaries
  10. Miscellaneous Printed Material
  11. Postcards
  12. Russ McKarns NRA Membership Certificate
  13. Wedding & Anniversary Cards
  14. Werder Connection Newsletters

Box 9: Photographs

  1. McKarns Smith Anniversary Negative
  2. Brannan Family Pictures
  3. Brannan Family Reunion Pictures
  4. Copeland Family Pictures
  5. Finch Family Pictures
  6. Hamet Family Pictures
  7. McKarns Family Pictures
  8. McKarns Photo Album
  9. Miller Family Pictures
  10. Miscellaneous Identified Pictures
  11. Miscellaneous Unidentified Pictures
  12. Russell & Florence McKarns Family Pictures
  13. School Pictures
  14. Smith Family Pictures
  15. Starr Family Pictures
  16. Werder Family Pictures